From Volume 37, Issue 18 of EIR Online, Published May 7, 2010

U.S. Economic/Financial News

Chicago's Broadway Bank Loans $20 Million to Felons

April 25 (EIRNS)—"$20 million in loans to felons" was the headline of an article in the Chicago Tribune on April 1. Alexi Giannoulias, who was elected Illinois State Treasurer with Barack Obama's help, is now the Democratic candidate for Obama's former U.S. Senate seat. When he was the senior loan officer at the family-run Broadway Bank, which was just shut down by the FDIC on yesterday, the bank loaned a pair of Chicago crime figures about $20 million during a 14-month period.

According to the Tribune, Broadway Bank had already lent millions to Michael Giorango and a business partner, Demitri Stavropoulos, in mid-2004, although both men were preparing to serve Federal prison terms.

In 2005, Stavropoulos began a two-year sentence following a felony conviction for running a multi-state bookmaking ring, while Giorango would serve six months of intermittent confinement on a felony conviction for promoting a nationwide prostitution scheme, as Broadway financed their land deals from downtown Chicago to Florida, California, and South Carolina.

Giannoulias's older brother, Demetris Giannoulias, the bank's president and CEO, told the Tribune that he established Broadway's relationship with Giorango in the mid-1990s. Giorango began investing in Chicago properties after completing two Federal prison stints for bookmaking schemes.

Stavropoulos recently worked as a $5,000-a-week consultant to a Bridgeview strip club, according to his testimony in a September 2009 civil court deposition.

Alexi and Demetris's father, Alexis Giannoulias, donated $10,000 to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on June 29, 2005. Demetris Giannoulias was first appointed by Blagojevich in 2004 for a stint on the Illinois Financial Authority Board that expired in 2005. After his father's contribution, he was reappointed Sept. 1, 2005, for a term that expired July 21, 2008.

According to the May 16 criminal complaint, Obama pal Tony Rezko was also closely tied to Broadway bank.

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